The booking of Khamzat Chimaev (8-0) thus far in his UFC career has been interesting, to say the least. He fought twice in 10 days, winning both bouts, right out of the gate. A new UFC record.
Dana White thought highly enough of the middleweight/welterweight to keep the ball rolling, so he’s back again this weekend at UFC Vegas 11. With another fight, against Demian Maia, already lined up after that, should he defeat Gerald Meerschaert this weekend.
Speaking at the UFC Vegas 11 virtual media day on Wednesday, “Borz” was asked if he’d try for a quick finish, with that second fight in mind. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m ready for everybody. I’m going to finish all my opponents,” he replied. “I’m going to try to do this in this fight, I’m going to finish this guy.”
Opponent Meerschaert has been vocal about feeling disrespected by Chimaev booking multiple fights. “I don’t know why it’s disrespectful,” Chimaev responded to that notion, pointing to amateur boxing and suggesting athletes there lined up five or six matches at a time. “Here, now, after one month [Chimaev has a second fight]. But I did 10 days, two fights. I don’t know why he feels disrespected or something like that.”
Chimaev revealed that he and Meerschaert exchanged words at the fighter hotel this week. A confrontation Meerschaert later referred to as “flexing.” Giving his side of the encounter, Chimaev said simply that “He was here, I met him.” He then added that Meerschaert “speaks too much. Talks too much. He disrespects me, like these things. I didn’t like that.”
“I said to him, ‘you like to talk too much.’ He said ‘yeah,’ I said ‘I’m going to smash your face, chicken.’ And he said nothing,” Chimaev explained.
Meerschaert, for his part, later claimed that Chimaev had several members of his camp with him. Luckily, the confrontation, such as it was, ended there. They’ll save it for the cage, where Chimaev believes Meerschaert will have no means with which to stop him.
“I’m better wrestling, I’m better grappling, I’m better striking. How he’s going to stop me? How?” questioned Chimaev. “Like he said, ‘I have my jiu-jitsu.’ But in eight fights, I have eight finishes. These guys weren’t jokes that I was fighting, these were real fighters. I finished the guys. How is this guy to stop me? I’m going to smash his face also.”
UFC Vegas 11 takes place this Saturday, September 19 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event airs live on ESPN+ (TSN in Canada).